MALAWI CONGRESS OF TRADE UNIONS (MCTU) PROPOSED STRATEGIES TOWARDS THE CREATION OF ONE MILLION JOBS IN A YEAR 2020 -2021.
Date: 20th July 2020
MCTU supports Government initiative of the creation of one million jobs in a year. This will go a long way in fulfilling the decent work aspirations, reducing poverty, suffering and inequalities of the majority of our citizenry. Unemployment in Malawi is at around 20.4% and very high among the youth. According to the Market Labour Profile of Malawi (2016) over 10,000 new graduates enter the labour market against l,000 new decent jobs created every year. In addition, 89% of workers in Malawi are employed in the informal economy while 11% is in the formal economy.
Indeed, the majority of the unemployed labour in Malawi enter the informal economy where there are no set rules that guide employment relationship between employers and employees hence high levels of decent work deficits.
It is against the above background that MCTU propose the following strategies that would contribute towards the creation of one million jobs in a year (2020 -2021):
- Invest in agricultural activities
- Operationalize the MEGA farms initiative (strategic crops) (both in rural and urban areas)
- The agro processing centers for (Horticulture), spices, tomatoes, Onions, pineapples, mangoes, orange juices. — Agriculture schemes
- Subsidize or support both big and small farms with inputs and mechanization
- Promote irrigation farming
- Support farmers in value addition that could employ people
- Government should explore international markets and connect local farmers for exports- this will increase demand for more labour hence employment creation
Note: This sector has the potential to create thousands of decent jobs for Malawians.
- Infrastructure development
Government must embark on a journey to renovate and construct new infrastructures across Malawi (urban and rural) i.e. roads, hospitals, schools, and modern markets. Government should also ensure that contractors employ majority of Malawians and not just import foreign labour without following recommended procedures.
- Filling in Vacancies in Government/Public service
Some Government Ministries, especially Health and Education have lots of well-trained personnels that have not yet been employed and yet hospital and schools in Malawi have inadequate human resource. Government can should therefore create employment for these trained human resources.
- Formalizing the informal economy
The informal economy in Malawi employs around 89% of the labour force and yet ignored since they are in the informal economy. Therefore, gradual formalizing of the informal economy will allow government to create decent employment.
- Promoting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
Government should put deliberate policies to promote SMEs for instance:
- some of the government tenders/contracts should be opened to local SMEs. This will boost their economic activities hence demand for more labour hence creating jobs.
- Access to affordable and flexible financial services especially loans and business insurance. This will allow SMEs to develop and grow in terms of business capital and number of workers employed.
- Explore the mining sector
Government should seriously explore the mining sector. Formalizing informal mining and seriously punishing illegal mining will lead to the creation of decent jobs just like in South Africa.
- Support for private sector led growth in Hospitality/Tourism with infrastructure passable roads to attract more tourist that would lead to increased employment.
- Support Manufacturing—-Cotton into Textiles
- Deliberate Skills training and entrepreneurship targeting the youths, interns.
On medium to longer term:
- We need to revamp our school curriculum to accommodate school’s skills development through revitalization of modern primary schools
- Increase modern technical and vocational colleges for self-employment
Enablers……Curbing corruption, access to financing, access to land, reliable power, water supply and roads.
All in all, increased government spending is likely to cause rise in aggregate demand but also on the supply side of the economy. Government spending should mainly focus on the economic aspect of development like infrastructure development but not forgetting the social aspect especially education and health.
In addition, government should consider implementing the sectoral minimum wage which has the potential of stimulating the economy hence create more jobs. In Malawi we have employers who can pay way above the minimum wage but they ae hold back due to the national minimum wage. Increased wages/salaries stimulate the economy hence creating more jobs.